view from the pop dash

When it comes to cars and other things involving agility, dexterity, or getting stuck on the roadside, I have low uncertainty tolerance. As a weak adventurer, I’ve been nervous about my adventuring companion, the Fiat Pop 500c, and how it will handle the snow. After as much research as possible about the car’s capabilities, I realized that my quest for certainty and comfort comes only in the doing and not the reading. Here on The Wall, aka Rhinelander, winter is fierce, and now it’s time for the first doing. We got more snow yesterday than Rhinelander gets on average every November. Fortunately, as of lastRead More →

There is more to Clarence Darrow than I thought. As the old story goes, the famous litigator slyly distracted juries with his cigar. He supposedly threaded a thin wire through the cigar to keep the burning ashes from falling. Enthralled juries would watch the ashes with anticipation instead of listening to the opposing counsel. True or not, the story has longevity for every negative attorney stereotype. Darrow’s most famous cases – The Scopes Monkey Trial and the murder trial of Leopold and Loeb – are noteworthy for their fame and sensationalism. For these bits of trivia, I quickly dismissed Darrow in my early days ofRead More →

snow kiteboarding

Today is day four of new home ownership. It has snowed real-snow once, and I went to an empty parking lot to practice driving in the Pop. The Pop is at the dealer getting an “undercoating” to keep from rusting. It is colder than a Baton Rouge winter. I have worn everything warm that I own and winter is just beginning. Today is the day I stepped outside and said to myself, “I want to go home. What the hell did I do?” It’s only November 4. Fantasies of a snow mobile in the future brighten my day, though.Read More →

Scare cam proves what everyone’s saying about us – we are all turning into a bunch of narcissistic sociopaths. Our ability to empathize is eroding daily. Most folks attribute this to desensitization from new media technology, but the blame is elsewhere. “Point and shoot” scare cams emphasize that the thing pointing doesn’t kill people, people kill people. Scare cams are a symptom of something bigger, of lost contact. You can fall in love via technology just as easily as you can bully through it; technology can mediate love as much as it can mediate bullying. So the problem isn’t technology. Maybe in the end OctaviaRead More →

1. Deer corn 2. Hank and Milo coming to life in the Northwoods. 3. There’s still some warmth in the air. 4. Great veggies from the neighbors’ garden. 5. “Aggressive” snow tires that fend off fear of oncoming snow. 6. Butt-warming leather seats in a car. 7. Cider. 8. Phone reception. 9. The first movie in four or five months. 10. A good realtor who brings hope about selling my house in Louisiana. Now that’s something. ∞Read More →

Blackboard continues to suck. I’m at a new institution, and I have learned that admin regulation of features accounts for only a small amount of Blackboard’s suckage. My current school has foregone some convenient features, but adopted other nifty ones. In the end this just illustrates that Blackboard’s suckitude and lack thereof amounts to installing car mats, electric windows, and an awesome stereo inside a poor-performing but market-dominating car. Blackboard is gobbling up the learning tech market, and now that it’s the big gorilla, it’s defining the industry with its suckage. Here is why Blackboard continues to suck: 1. Still cannot mass edit exam questions.Read More →